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Joint Pain or Arthralgia

Joint pain is one of the most common pain problems for which people go to a registered physiotherapist. Examination of a joint is a complex skill and needs someone with physiotherapy training to identify the cause of the joint pain or weakness and treat it correctly.

Joint pains can be caused by any of the structures which make up and surround the joints. This can include ligament pain, cartilage pain, muscle pain and bone pain.

Causes of joint pain

Inflammation, joint infection, tumours, joint sprains and strains, joint fractures, arthritis and arthritic diseases can all be causes of joint pain. Physiotherapists can treat many of these conditions successfully and give joint pain relief, others will need medical treatment.

Joint pains have many causes which depend on the patient’s age and activity, medical history and accidents or trauma. Some causes are unexplained. Arthritis is a term often used for joint pain and strictly means joint inflammation, while arthralgia is the medical term for joint pain. Both arthritis and arthralgia are vague terms since they give little or no information about the possible diagnosis.

Joint pain relief from physiotherapy

Many of the body’s major joints are susceptible to injury and pain. Commonest are knee joint pain, ankle joint pain, shoulder joint pain, lower back pain, upper back pain, sacroiliac joint pain, neck pain and wrist joint pain. Relief from joint pain is best provided by a qualified physio who can assess and treat the underlying cause.

Other areas which benefit from physio treatment to relieve joint pain are hip joint pain, foot joint pain and thumb joint pain. Pain in the thumb joint at the base of the thumb is common in osteoarthritis and after falling on a ski slope and catching your thumb in the webbing.

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